Guest Post: Christi Snow

Today, I'm pleased to bring back Romance Author Christi Snow. 

As an avid reader her entire life, she always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when reading. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes. When she turned 41, Christi decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she'd written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since. Christi found her passion by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She's truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Hi, everyone! Sarah, thank you so much for having me here today.

When Sarah asked me to be here today, she asked me as an author, but I’m going to talk to you today as my other personality, the book review blogger. I was a book reviewer a long time before I decided to bite the bullet and become an author. That gives me a different perspective on this whole writing thing.

Chances are you became a writer because you enjoy books. Let’s face it, that’s why most of us write. Well, that’s why most book bloggers review books too. They enjoy them. They get excited about them and they want to share that excitement with other readers and bloggers. The bloggers are not your enemy. (For the most part… I know, there is ALWAYS a bad egg or two in every group that want to spoil everyone’s fun. We try to ignore them.)

Book bloggers can help you quite a bit. When they get excited about books, they talk about them and that works for you and your book…they tweet, they review, they promote. Book bloggers can create buzz for your books which means more people see your books and more people want to buy your books.

But the question is: how do you get book bloggers to read your book? There are three key steps to this:

1. Research… Do your research to find bloggers who read and review your genre and then read their reviews to see if their reading tastes match yours. Chances are, if they hate your favorite author in your genre, then they probably aren’t going to like your book either. Note: almost all bloggers will have a review policy somewhere on their blog. Make sure you adhere to that, or they’re definitely going to turn down doing a review for you.

2. Cover Design… I cannot emphasize this enough. If your package is not appealing, you will not sell your book and you will also have a hard time getting reviews. Your cover NEEDS to be professionally designed. Period. There are tons of great cover designers out there and most of them are fairly inexpensive. This is a business. Treat it as one and you will fare better for it. As a reviewer, when I receive a request with a bad cover design, the odds of me accepting your book, just went down about 50-75%. That’s huge in the competitive world of books. You are also KILLING your chances at impulse buys on sites like Amazon. This is a competitive enough business without you sabotaging yourself with an amateur cover design.

3. Goodreads… I know. I just heard the collective groan by you Goodreads haters out there. I know there are trolls on there. Trolls are a fact that you are just going to have to deal with AND IGNORE. Most of the reviewers I know rely heavily on Goodreads when deciding to accept a book or not. Those of us that use it can spot the trolls. We ignore them. Note: we can also spot your mom’s review and ignore those, too. Book reviewers get HUGE numbers of requests a month and most don’t want to read a book that they’re not going to enjoy. Remember: reviewers LOVE books, but they don’t want to waste their time reading a book that they hate. That’s miserable for everyone. Goodreads is a way for them to safeguard against that. Especially if you are a fairly unknown author, Goodreads is a great way to build a readership. USE IT!

I’m just one book blogger, but these have been my observations where authors really mess up and miss out on the free advertising out there that’s done by the reviewers. They can do a lot for you to help spread the word about your great book. I highly recommend that you contact a few and see if it helps your book sales. (BUT I’m sorry, as of Feb, I no longer accept books for review. After 2 ½ years of reviewing, I’ve decided it’s time for me to concentrate on my personal to-be-read pile which has over 800 books in it.)

Oh, and yeah, I have all that writing to be done, too.

Thanks, Christi! Speaking of all that writing. Christi has a new companion novella that just released this week as part of her When the Mission Ends series. If you've yet to check out her books, this is a must read.

 Before his mission began, he went home. 24 hours to say goodbye to his twin sister.
Instead he found her. A girl that was nothing like the one he thought he knew.
They have 24 hours. 24 hours before he deploys on an extremely dangerous mission. 24 hours together in a freak West Texas snowstorm. 24 hours that will have to get them both through the awful next year.
When the resident good-girl decides to take on the visiting bad-boy, 24 hours is all it takes to change their lives forever.
This is the story of the 24 hours that no one knew ever occurred…until now.

Operation: Endeavor
Operation: Endgame

Coming April 2013